When I was a kid, birthdays were a big, big deal. It was like the whole world exploded with confetti just for me. Thankfully, now that I’m older and a little less self centered, birthdays don’t really matter that much. I’ve grown out of the need to make it a big deal and instead appreciate the small things that come with birthdays – intimate dinner with my family and friends, an extra hug or smile or just a little extra me time.
But celebrating my birthday in Bali amongst new friends in a new place admittedly felt a little strange. I woke up this morning and nearly felt like crying…because boo hoo, it’s my birthday. It was like I has reverted back to my seven year old self.
Our mornings here are spent in silence – from the moment we wake up (which is usually around 5 or 5:15 am) to about 10 am – and all I wanted to do was call my husband, talk to my family and friends, and snuggle with my dog. I wanted to feel their warmth. To receive their hugs. To feel something other than what I’m told to feel each and every day – my daily prescription for feelings through the daily silence, meditations, and even silent yoga practice.
Maybe deep down I’m still the same little girl. But instead of needing things, I find myself craving my people. My family. My friends. My community.
While my morning started out kind of tough, I was pleasantly surprised by a light and joyous asana practice. Morning meditation was easy too. And silent breakfast didn’t seem so “silent…” I just allowed myself to relax. I had a coffee and pretended it wasn’t instant. I went for a swim and then laid out on a lounge chair and just enjoyed the stillness. I pretended like I didn’t have anywhere to be. And took my sweet time getting my breakfast. I pretended I was choosing not to read my book, check my phone or even email…like that was my very own birthday wish….when really, it’s just our silent morning routine (no reading, no music, no talking and no phones, computers or other devices). Anyway, we head straight from silent breakfast to lecture where the silence is finally broken (by the ringing of a bell…of course) and then we have to wait until our first break for access to phones, chatter and general noise.
All through lecture, I waited. Craving a taste of home. Comfort. Love.
And as soon as we were released for a break, I made a dash for my room so I could grab the card that I had stowed away in my backpack which I was instructed not to open until my birthday.
I suspect that Liz, Nicci, Alyse and the entire Flex & Flow tribe didn’t really realize the impact the card would have on me. But it was literally everything. Kind words and sentiments from everyone I love and who love me back. It was a taste of everything I was craving and then some.
It got me through the afternoon and even motivated me to get out for a hot and sweaty 3.4 miles at lunchtime (in honor of my 34th birthday and If Girls Ran the World, of course).
And all those miles and birthday love notes got me in handstand (and, er… cannonball) mood like whoa.
And then I finally got wifi and saw this….
And my day was made. It officially became one of the best birthdays ever.
While my 34th started on the wrong side of the bed, I have to admit, it turned into a pretty great day… from lovely cards and video birthday wishes to an amazing cake that Zuna Yoga had prepared for me during our late afternoon fruit break….
It was vegan, gluten-free and yogi approved cake, of course – but cake no less. The only thing missing from it was a little gluten, some rainbow sprinkles and a glass (or two) of wine. 🙂
And to top it all off, Angela, my amazing roommate and new friend got the gecko poo off my bed this afternoon for me…because, you know, it’s my birthday and all. #itsthelittlethings. You know what they say….real friends are the ones who will pick up gecko poo for you on your birthday (can’t say I ever thought I’d be saying that…).
With love from Bali,